What we don't know is whether there are any rightwing legists who have sufficient integrity to refuse to participate as beneficiaries of the Senate Republicans' corrupt bargain.
Probably not. I have not seen any commentary that even recognizes the problem.
When Trump introduced Gorsuch as his nominee, he spun out a long list of legal accomplishments. Whether he was accurate is, with Trump, always a question, but we need not inquire. It is certain that an equally impressive list could have been (and was) attached to the CV of Judge Garland.
Let us state the obvious, since it seems to be beyond the comprehension of rightwingers. Article 2 Section 2 does not read, "some future president shall, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint justices to the Supreme Court."
My business law professor used to begin each lecture by reminding us that we were treating the idea of being in business as a going concern.
The Constitution does not explicitly say that the government is a going concern, but it has to be. In Gorsuch's acceptance statement, he went out of his way to say that he considers the United States Senate the greatest deliberative body in the world. It would be interesting to hear his response to the question: How would you rate the deliberations on the appointment of Judge Garland?
The willingness of Judge Gorsuch to participate in a corrupt bargain reminds us that it has not always been the case that all rightwing lawyers have been so pliant. Eliot Richardson and William Ruckelshaus were not, although the darling of the rightwing jurists, Robert Bork, was.
Although it does not have anything to do with Gorsuch's personal unfitness for office, it is worth also noting what the executive thinks makes him deserving of a job as associate justice. When Vice President Pence was asked, he said -- three times in less than 90 seconds -- that Gorsuch is a fourth-generation Coloradan.
Let us state the obvious: where your great-grandparents lived is not a qualification for a judgeship, or any other job. Yet Pence really, really, really wants us to know that, more than any actual qualification Gorsuch might have.
We must become kremlinologists to try to understand why the administration makes so much of that idea.
Recall that Pence was governor of Indiana and that Trump began his sustained assault on the integrity and independence of the federal judiciary by attacking a judge who was a first generation native of Indiana. Often, a governor would defend the reputation of a distinguished judge who is a native of his state, but Pence declined to do so.
What message was Pence signaling to rightwingers by singling out Gorsuch's ancestry? Obviously, he was telling his base that Gorsuch is white and Protestant.
Gorsuch cannot help that, but he didn't have to throw away his reputation. Untested for most of a lifetime, circumstances finally revealed him as a man of low character.